Indicators of a Water-Damaged Basement

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The severity of wet-basement issues varies from home to home and from one geographic location to another. Use this list to do a basic assessment of your basement-waterproofing needs:

  • Moist or damp spots on interior basement walls: When wet or damp, block or concrete walls will turn a dark gray.

  • Presence of Mold or Mildew: These are fungi that normally grow (reproduce) in dark, damp areas of the basement and will cause discoloration on myriad surfaces.
  • Peeling Paint: Look for paint that’s discolored and /or that’s chipping or flaking off the walls.

  • Rust on Appliances, Nails/screws, Tools or metal Furniture: Because of humidity or dampness, corrosion may also appear on fuse boxes or other metal objects in a basement.
  • Musty or damp smell: The odor is caused by the decay process of mold, mildew and dry rot. A musty smell might be an indication of dampness even if “wetness” is not visible.

  • Dry Rot: It often looks like a brown-black fungus growth on walls, clothing and other surfaces; normally grows on wood surfaces, which promotes wood to decay. More information on types of rot here.

  • Cracked Walls and Floors: Look for horizontal cracks on walls and step-down cracks in corners of the house these might indicate foundation failure.

  • Warped Wall Paneling: Basement humidity, moisture and dampness may cause wood paneling to bow or otherwise distort.

  • White Chalky “stuff” on the inside of basement walls: The white chalky stuff is the result of mineral deposits drying on walls, often called “efflorescence”.

Remember: if your house is being appraised or inspected, the Indicators of a Water-Damaged Basement, listed above, are cleraly visible to the trained eye.

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Updates: Saturday, March 19, 2016 18:41